The Bermuda Sun today continues its series of profiles of trailblazing black Bermudians in honour of Black History Month. It's being done in partnership with the Government TV station CITV, which is airing short profiles of four people each week, as well as giving viewers the opportunity to take part in a quiz to win one of eight plasma TVs. Tune in to CITV daily (seven days a week) at 7am, 11am, 4pm and 7.30pm to hear the trivia questions and log on to www.citv.gov.bm to search for the correct answers. We will profile different people in every edition of the paper throughout February.

Cecil Dismont (1915-2004) made history when he became Hamilton's first black mayor in 1988, a post he held for six years.

He was first elected to the Corporation of Hamilton in 1958, and served for a total of 36 years, first as a common councillor, then as alderman. He served as deputy mayor for 16 years under Mayor Graham Gibbons.

The second son of Albert and Ivy Dismont, Mr. Dismont had a gentle demeanour and a reputation for being a gentleman. His early education began at Berkeley Preparatory School and he also attended Excelsior Secondary School. He later attended Ontario Business College in Canada. Upon his return to Bermuda, he joined his father in the family business, the Dismont Cycle Shop.

Mr. Dismont played sports of all kinds, football, cricket, bowling, gymnastics, bodybuilding and roller-skating. He was vice-captain for St. George's Cup Match cricket team.

He was an active game fisherman and spent many Sunday afternoons trolling the waters with friends and family. He loved tennis and was the singles champion for three consecutive years. He and his brother Russell-who was a pioneering PLP MP-were also champion doubles players.

Mr. Dismont had another reason for loving tennis. He met a charming young lady visiting from Boston who became his tennis partner and later his life partner as he married Leonie "Lee" Wingood on January 22, 1938 in Boston. Though raised in Boston his wife had Bermudian parentage. The couple returned to Bermuda where they raised their three children - Diane, Rhonda and Michael.

In 1952, the couple opened their own business in the Dismont Building on Reid Street, known as Dismont Shoes and Accessories, where they worked together for the next 21 years.

During Mr. Dismont's tenure as mayor, he guided Hamilton through historic times, including its 200th anniversary celebration. He was proud of his role in helping establish wheelchair access throughout the City of Hamilton; later he became a beneficiary of his own efforts in this regard.

He was instrumental in launching the Sunday Concert in the Park series. Ever guided by principles of fairness and equality, he was also determined that Christmas lighting would be extended to include the Court Street area.

He was proud to have met a number of dignitaries during his business and civic career, including Queen Elizabeth and several other members of the British royal family, Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

He received an MBE in 1976 and an OBE in 2001. In further recognition of his service 'Dismont Drive' next to City Hall was named in his honour in 2003.
Charles Lloyd Tucker (1913-1971) was Bermuda's first black professionally trained artist and a dominant figure on the art scene during the 1950s and 1960s.

As the first art teacher at Berkeley Institute, he inspired a generation of Bermudians.

Mr. Tucker's larger-than-life personality matched his prodigious talents. Music was his first love, and he had embarked on studies in London to become a concert pianist, but the Second World War ended that dream.

He was the son of Ada and John Edgar Tucker, a community leader, mason and builder. His mother was a major influence on his life-she taught him how to play the organ.

He attended Temperance Hall and the Berkeley Institute. He was a student at the Guildhall School of Music in London for about a year, but his studies were cut short by the outbreak of the Second World War, and he sailed back to Bermuda.

He held a number of jobs during the war years, including playing the organ at the base chapel in St. David's and teaching piano. When the war ended he returned to London, this time to study art because he believed he was too old to resume music studies. He was a student at the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting from 1949 to 1953.

Because of his talents, personality and interest in history and drama, he held his own at art school, even though he was the only black student, and many students were from wealthy families. He was the life and soul of school parties.

He painted landscapes and people, but his life-long passion for painting flowers was recognised early. In 1953, he won the school's Flower Painting Prize.  He was also the recipient of Byam Shaw's Ernest Jackson Memorial Scholarship.

Back home in Bermuda, he joined the staff of Berkeley Institute in 1954, introducing art into the curriculum. In the same year, he held his first one-man show.

He was an active participant in the artistic community, and was a founding member of the Bermuda Society of Arts, which formed in 1956, He exhibited locally and also in New York, Boston and Chicago, and juried several BSA exhibitions. 

Mr. Tucker married Theresa Jackson on June 29, 1963. The couple had two children Hans and Sarah Anne. The family lived at Shelley Bay, on the same property where he was born and raised and where he became known for his other interests-gardening, cooking, beekeeping and entertaining locals and visitors.

He painted Bermudian characters

Mr. Tucker painted landscapes, street scenes and Bermuda landmarks, and well-known Bermudian characters of his day, including Weatherbird, a street person. A trip to Haiti became a major influence on his art and woodcarvings.

He was also one of the first Bermudians to venture into political art.  'Storm in a Teacup', painted in a modernist style that was not typical of his work, was inspired by the 1959 Theatre Boycott, which ended segregation in cinemas and hotels.

In June 1970, he was awarded the Queen's Certificate and Badge of Honour. He died suddenly on the morning of January 11, 1971, and hundreds paid tribute to him at his funeral.

At the Summer Arts Festival in 1971, a bronze bust of him by sculptor Vincent Gallucio was unveiled at City Hall.

Editor's note: Photographs and profiles were supplied by Government's Department of Communication and Information, and edited by Meredith Ebbin.